As an essential nutrient, Manganese is an element found in many foods such as nuts, seeds, tea, whole grains and leafy green vegetables. It’s also recognized as a normal part of a healthy diet for many living organisms, including humans.
What is Manganese?
When manganese is in drinking water, it may cause taste, odor and color issues. It can also stain clothes and furnishings inside your residence. If left untreated, it can cause brownish-black slime in toilets and form coatings on water pipes in the distribution system and inside your home’s water lines.
In order to identify a harmful amount of manganese, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a Secondary Contaminant Level (SCL) of 0.05 mg/L for manganese. The SCL is used as a guideline to ensure safe, reliable water systems. At CSWR, we closely monitor water quality to make sure it is safe for you and your family.
Our water system is routinely monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for primary and secondary drinking water contaminants. Sample results received on 9/10/2021 showed manganese
levels of 0.56 mg/L. This level is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) short-term
health advisory (HA) of 0.3 mg/L for infants under 6 months old.
What To Do When You Have Manganese in Your Water
To help improve the water in you and your family’s home, we recommend:
- Do not boil your water. Boiling water with manganese actually increases the concentration as the amount of water is reduced in the form of steam.
- Avoiding chlorine-based products for stain removal. To remove manganese stains, use a citrus-based product. Typically, your local convenience or grocery store will carry these.
- Flushing your house water lines every 3-4 months, or as often as needed. This removes any manganese buildup and eliminates most odor and taste issues present in your water.
- Turning on the faucets and/or jets in large tubs and/or jacuzzis each week. When water sits in your house lines, chlorine continues to react with manganese, causing darker colored water the longer the water is not used. Similar to slime, manganese happens in areas of low use, causing a black substance or residue.
- Using sprinkler systems at least once per week. Although these systems are outside your home, they do allow water to sit in your lines and that will cause discoloration problems. (And use them even in winter!)
- Maintaining home filtration and/or treatment systems according to the manufacturer’s suggestions. If not properly maintained, home filtration and/or treatment systems are a source of problems with water quality if not properly maintained and operated according to manufacturer’s standards. If you’re experiencing discolored water from your hot water faucets only, drain and clean your hot water heater according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Flushing your house lines after you get back from extended vacations. Do this before using your home’s water system, but especially prior to washing clothes, taking a shower, or running any bath water. Also, remember to frequently flush in places of your home that aren’t used routinely, such as guest bathrooms, pool houses, etc.
Although Manganese can be harmful at high levels, it plays a key role in our bodily functions and health. This is why it’s important that we all work to monitor and take care of our water resources. At CSWR, we are committed to investing in safe and reliable water and wastewater systems for every community and resident we serve.